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PayPal Hacks
By Shannon Sofield, Dave Nielsen, Dave Burchell
September 2004
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HACK
#30
Create a Purchase Button for Services
Streamline your purchase buttons for selling intangible goods and services by removing unnecessary fields. By removing certain shipping requirements, you can accept payments from all buyers, regardless of whether they can provide confirmed addresses
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PayPal allows you to accept payment for almost any kind of tangible product or intangible service. When you're selling services, much of the information PayPal gathers is superfluous. You might not always need the customer's address, for instance, and you most likely will not need to charge any shipping or handling fees. By eliminating these options in your purchase buttons, you can simplify the checkout process for your customers, thus making it easier to sell your services.

Here's the code for a service button, adapted from "Create a Buy Now Button" [Hack #28]:

<form action="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr" method="post">
    <input type="hidden" name="cmd" value="_xclick">
    <input type="hidden" name="business" value="sales@payloadz.com">
    <input type="hidden" name="item_name" value="Service">
    <input type="hidden" name="item_number" value="Serv-001">
    <input type="hidden" name="amount" value="1.00">
1.  <input type="hidden" name="shipping" value="0.00">
2.  <input type="hidden" name="handling" value="0.00">
3.  <input type="hidden" name="no_shipping" value="1">
4.  <input type="hidden" name="no_note" value="1">
    <input type="hidden" name="currency_code" value="USD">
    <input type="image" src=
        "https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-but23.gif" 
        border="0" name="submit">
</form>

The difference between this code and an ordinary Buy Now button is the addition of two variables, shipping and handling (lines 1 and 2, respectively), both of which are set to 0.00. This trumps any shipping charges you might have in your PayPal profile. Also, the no_shipping variable (line 3) instructs PayPal not to ask for a shipping address, and the no_note variable (line 4) turns off the note field during checkout. All of this makes a simple and streamlined checkout process.


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